Azerbaijan: New legislative amendments further erode rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly

The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan (IPGA) — Index on Censorship is a signatory — strongly condemns a series of repressive legislative amendments that Azerbaijan’s National Assembly (Milli Majlis) adopted on 14 May 2013. The amendments were submitted by the prosecutor-general’s office to a parliamentary commission two weeks before and are being enacted in the run-up to October’s Presidential election.

The existing draconian penalties for criminal defamation and insult have been extended to online content, including Azerbaijan’s vibrant social networks, and public demonstrations. The permitted length of “administrative” detention – detention without referring to a court – is now much greater for many offences. (more…)